Sick Of The Noise - Replace ATI HD 2600 or Upgrade to 8800GT

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jspaceman, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. jspaceman macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Okay, so I received my mac pro about one month ago (complete with ATI Radeon card). Everything was great and the machine was whisper quite, and by whisper I mean you really had to struggle to hear it).

    Then I install the ATI Firmware Update and that all changes. I wouldn't say that my mac pro is loud (not by G5 standards), but I can certainly hear it now. It has a constant hum that doesn't change no matter how fast the fans are running.

    I called Apple, who said that they expected that the update would make the machine louder, but it was 'within their level of acceptance', they also confirmed that the update increased the machines power consumption. I replied by saying that it was not within my level of acceptance and if Apple knew about the increase in noise and power consumption, then they should have warned me via software update. I seem to recall the note actually saying the update would improve power conservation, particularly since my machine wasn't having any problems beforehand.

    It now turns out that there is no way to revert to the old firmware. I have since learnt that this update was specifically applied to fox an issue that was effecting games only. This really pisses me off because I do not use my machine for games, I use it for work (i.e. my means of support). If apple want to release an update for gamers, then they should say that the update is only for gamers. It might be that gamers would sacrifice noise levels and increased power consumption for better gaming performance, but I won't!

    So my question is, what is the best way for me to get back my silent machine? Should I upgrade the card to the 8800GT (i have heard that it's a silent runner?). I didn't got that card in the first place because of the increased power consumption over the ATI, but this update was made my current card for energy hungry than the GT.

    Alternatively, has anyone figured out a way to get back to the old firmware, or to get the noise levels back where they were pre-update?
  2. nemloc macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Just got my machine with an 8800 and it's the only thing I can hear. (When the DVD drive isn't spinning :( )

    Noise levels are relative, but it's definitely not 0 noise. Seems like that fan being small, generates a soft whirr.
  3. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I used to own a ati x1900 and had to install an accerlero x2 fan on it for it to be silent. But the 8800gt stock is very quiet, I dont hear anything. It sounds the same as the ati hd 2600 that had no fan!
  4. overcast macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I have SLI 8800GT's in my PC and they are EXTREMELY quiet. Magnitudes quieter than the X1900XTX they replaced. They run near silent when idle, and I'm a noise nazi.
  5. JonR356 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Which version of the HD2600 do you have? I've got the standard fit card from the early 08 machine, and there's a fan on there.

    The fan on my 2600 was inaudible both before and after the firmware update.
  6. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    The ati hd 2600 that I have came with my 2.8 8 core mac pro.
  7. JonR356 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    I suggest you look again. The ATI reference card came with a fan, and I don't know of any versions which do not, including the apple shipped card which I suspect is very close to the ATI reference, if not a 'genuine' ATI card.

    The following link shows a 2600XT. Note the part which looks like a fan. That's the fan. You'd struggle to find a mainstream GPU nowadays which is not air/fan cooled. The 2600XT is no exception. You may wish to check on your facts before adding posts which will mislead people looking for advice.
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    yea that's the card that it cam with, I never noticed that fan. I never heard a peep out of it and I thought it as no fan, lol.
  9. JonR356 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Rather flawed logic there. Again, you may wish to think before advising people. The fact you didn't hear any noise from a card within the case alongside the various other sound sources, and didn't observe a fairly obvious and standard combination of fan and heat sink bears this out.
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I dont know if you have pms version for men or just have something against me, but I never bothered to really look at the card and only switched out the card just once from the mac pro. Plus I never really cared for that ati 2600 card so never paid attention to it, onlly thing I've heard when I switched the mac pro was the loud fan noise (and thought it was the fan noise from the mac pro's main fan/hdd fan) and I just took the ati 2600 out and without looking at it, stuffed it in the graphics update box that came with my nvidia 8800gt card. But I did take a good look at the 8800gt card.
  11. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    i think he is irked because you stated as fact on a forum something you were (by your own admission a couple of posts later) completely ignorant of. I might as well have said that there are no spark plugs in my car because I didn't notice them.

    You don't have to answer every question posted on a forum. If you don't know the answer to begin with, please please please don't post an answer.

    someone will come along and read one of your posts one day and it might actually be something important that you casually made up an answer to...

    it's just discourteous to do anything else...
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006

    Well, I really didnt notice the fan at all. If anything I thought the ATI HD 2600xt just had a heat sink on top and I was thinking *stock card* as to when I owned the previous gen 2.66ghz mac pro with the *stock* nvidia 7300gt card (that does not have a fan). [​IMG]

    I guess I was a bit too eager to receive the nvidia 8800gt card and the stock cards in the mac pro is crap and I wasnt too excited or in awed with the ATI HD 2600xt so never even bothered to really get a good look at it. Only opened up the enclosure for the mac pro just to put in RAM on top and bottom risers and to install the nvidia 8800gt. Just unscrewed the 2 screws for the graphics card, pulled the release tab and pulled the ati hd 2600xt card out and without even checking it out just stuffed it in the update graphics card box for the nvidia 8800gt.

    But like I said above I did check out and look at the nvidia 8800gt card for a good 5 minutes.
  13. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Install this or this heatsink. Both will keep the card nice and cool and have quiet fans. You'll probably also have to get a molex extension cable to connect the fan to the DVD drive's power connector.

    Something like this passive model might work as well. One of the 2600s in my PC is passive with a dinkier heatsink than that one and runs very cool.
  14. jspaceman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Well, after a few calls Apple have decided to replace the ATI card. Now I just have to hope that the replacement card doesn't have new firmware pre loaded. Hopefully it doesn't and I can just ignore the ATI Firmware update.

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